I should have taken Shannon’s advice and put on the sunscreen. Not for the reason you may think. Little did we know that fresh water sand beaches in Utah (Lake Powell) have a strange little no-seeum biting gnat that is deterred by sunscreen which Shannon had on…no bites for her but as I was loading the bike in the early morning I couldn’t see any bugs but was suddenly feeling bites on ears, back of my neck, and forehead. Didn’t think much of it. Twenty-four hours later I look like I have the pox. These are not your average mosquito bite lumps but looks like lima beans pushed under my skin, inflamed and itchy [Shannon thinks Mike is being a bit of a wimp].
At work when you had a bad day the whole day was pretty much shot but this is not so when traveling by motorcycle. The mornings, before the heat of the day ramps up, are generally full of promise but as the days wears on it can shift depending on the elevation, the road, and the weather. As the temperature rises it seems that nerves fray. After leaving Lake Powell we had a very long day ahead of us to get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon with temperatures that steadily rose and we became hot, tired, and uncomfortable. There wasn’t a place to stop with shade for lunch and the scenery was desolate. Yet, as we started to gain elevation into Kaibab National Forest pine trees replaced sage and the temperature dropped twenty degrees. After a nice stop which included lunch (leftover pasta yum) and some advice from the local ranger station about free camping within the national forest but with views of the Grand Canyon. Off we rode. And, what would we find but one of the best camp spots we have ever stayed. It had tremendous views of the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the Vermillion cliffs, with no people around for miles, and a nice stack of ready firewood. Check out the 50 second 360-degree view of the campsite: Grand Canyon
The south rim of the Grand Canyon was just like we thought, very crowded and touristy with a lot of traffic on the road.
After a few photos we made our way south intending to find historic route 66 and get Mike a haircut. Currently, there are storm and flood warnings for the area so we are happily holed up in a historic hotel on route 66 in Segliman, AZ and Mike’s hair looks great. Ducati is enjoying the comforts of a carpet and bed.
A few excitement butterflies in our stomachs’ as we prepare to cross into Mexico and leave behind the country of our birth.